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Performance (Agility, Obedience, Hunting) A place to talk and brag about performance training/ titles.

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Old 12-15-2012, 07:12 AM   #41 (permalink)
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Thanks for the words of encouragement! It was good to here. When I see other dogs going through the obstacles with ease I worry about Max being overwhelmed.

CT, thanks for the advice, it sounds like agility did for your dog what I am looking for Max.

Lily, thanks for the words of encouragement.
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Old 12-29-2012, 07:04 AM   #42 (permalink)
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I know this is a $ splurge, but I have been doing private agility training with a young woman who is awesome. She has already put MACHs on more than one dog and she is only about 20 (been competing since she was about 11). Anyway, we had a great hour with her yesterday. The benefits are at least as important for me in my handling as they are for Lily in her skills. She knows all obstacles, but I sometimes let us down in my handling. The private time is really helping us. I started doing this based on a conversation with local people I know who are successful agility handlers. We were at a big cluster (rally, obedience, agility, breed) late late spring. I was expressing frustration at feeling stuck at a plateau that wan't really competition ready, even though I had been going to what is rated as a competition level class for months. Both of my friends strongly suggested doing privates with one or the other of two people (I've actually gone to both of them, but the one I work with more often is closer to me and has a schedule that works better with mine).

We had a really great lesson yesterday and I feel very optimistic about finishing akc novice jumpers at our next trial (soon) based on how things went yesterday. If you have a really good handler who you see around and can swing it I really recommend trying some private lessons.
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Old 12-29-2012, 08:29 AM   #43 (permalink)
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What a great post Catherine and congrats on the encouraging lesson!

Even a beginner can really benefit from private lessons. I have a local instructor that MACH with her dogs many years ago - she no longer competes but is a wealth of knowledge!

Must have been a day to get back with classes because I also had a lesson with her yesterday. We had a major breakthrough!!! My scardey cat Bella actually was learning to love the chute!!! It was a jackpot moment!!! She still hesitates at some tunnels but was pushing her way through a very long completely closed chute and eventually was doing this as part of a combination. This was just huge for us and we really celebrated! She also is starting to send ahead on jumps / tires rather than looking back to me if I get the obstacle name out in time.

A week from today we start group lessons with a club that has indoor contact equipment - Bella has been off these for almost a month so I'm concerned but hopeful.

Happy Holidays and Happy Training Everyone!!!
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Old 12-29-2012, 11:35 AM   #44 (permalink)
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Wow,

Great to here about everyone's hard work and success! I don't know that I will ever be at the level of you guys but, I enjoy working with Max and see him learn new things. We have been off for the holidays and back to class next Thursday. We have been practicing some fundamental move that I understand are necessary for agility.
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Old 12-30-2012, 01:53 PM   #45 (permalink)
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There are definitely some over achievers on this forum - they must look like poetry in motion - but it is a great activity for us beginners too. If you have the opportunity a private lesson is a great idea. There are so many subtle things that go into successful handling it is great to have an expert give pointers just for you.

Minnie how great that you had a breakthrough with the chute. Swizzle has started this recently and he does it but not with gusto. I think I am going to pull it taut so he can get a glimpse of me till he is more comfortable with this.

I started 2x2 weave pole training today and it went great. We will have to see what happens when it is 4 poles instead of 2 - fingers crossed.
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Old 12-30-2012, 05:03 PM   #46 (permalink)
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I have to say that the privates are at least as much to reduce my clutzy handling as to improve Lily's performance. I sort of feel like in for a penny in for a pound about this all at this point. I have taken many classes and spent lots of time feeling stuck, so I decided to go this route to get some measurable results (qualifying legs and titles). I guess it is the scientist in me, the scores and titles are like data evidence for all the work we've done! I am glad to hear of Bella's success and hope that everyone else has a great 2013 working with their lovely poodles.

I think that the most important thing to remember with agility is that is should be fun and build your relationship with your dog. Just because I am sort of obsessed with the titles doesn't actually mean they are the most important part of why I do the things I do with my sweet girly girl.
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Old 12-31-2012, 04:55 AM   #47 (permalink)
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We have 6 standard Poodles and two Border Collies. When I started agility 12 years ago, I had no clue (nor did my first instructor! LOL). We fumbled along up through the classes. I tried many different instructors before finding the one we still go to today. We have been with her for more than 10 years now! She is very picky and that is what helps us to achieve the things we have with our agility dogs.
I think that private lessons are MORE important for beginners than seasoned competitors! Foundation in agility means everything! I often see novices put in charge of teaching the beginners when it should be the BEST instructors doing that.
Our four older standard Poodles have 16 MACHs (AKC championships) and 2 ADCH titles (USDAA championships- we don’t do much USDAA) amongst them. Our oldest SP, 13 years old now, retired just four double Qs short of her 8th MACH and our 8 year old SP is working on MACH 7. This is because of GREAT instruction!
Our two youngest SPs suffer from severe stress in the ring. I ran their mum and she was the same (I did manage to put two MACHs on her in spite of it). When I bred her, I assumed she was that way because she was basically a rescue that had been abused. Now I know different .
TO give you hope if you have a fearful dog, when my young dog started, she had ZERO drive to work, no focus at all and hated anything to do with training, toys or balls. I worked very hard. Last spring she wouldn’t even leave the start line! Then I got her to do that but she would do one jump and run the fence looking for a way out of the ring. It was horrible. I left many trials in tears! I went to lots of fun runs where I could take her favorite ball (yes she learned to love them) in with me and made it fun. Then I would do ONE jump, leave and celebrate! She really came around (I never thought she would).
Here is a video of her form yesterday picking up her 7th MXJ leg and running a whopping 5.64 yards per second even though she had two very wide turns. NEVER give up on a dog! If you make it fun, they will respond! We NEVER EVER use corrections in our training!
PS. We use the 2x2 weave training method to train our dogs. My husband and I filmed it for Susan G and he edited it and put in the graphic and music so perhaps I am biased, but there is no better way to train weave poles! 
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Old 12-31-2012, 02:31 PM   #48 (permalink)
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Wow! Amazing to watch you dog go through her paces! I love to watch her go through the weave poles.
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Old 12-31-2012, 05:13 PM   #49 (permalink)
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There aren't too many things prettier than a spoo on a jumpers course!
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:38 PM   #50 (permalink)
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Helen, thank you for the great video. No one looking at that would ever think your dog ever had fear/confidence issues as she seems so happy and confident as she blazes through the course. I hope Swizzle gets to that point. He has made amazing progress and I will never give up. Who knows what will happen when we go to a trial but we are having a lot of fun together and even I am not the total klutz I was before.

You and your husband did a great job on the 2x2 video. It is so well shot I can see everything Susan and the dog are doing unlike many agility videos on the market. I keep watching sections of it over and over as it is really helping me. No wonder your dog is amazing in the weave poles.
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